Le­high res­i­dent up­set with flood mit­i­ga­tion

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - O.R. Sheddy Mail Editor

A Le­high res­i­dent is con­cerned about the fu­ture of his prop­erty and is wish­ing for more in­for­ma­tion on the prov­ince’s flood mit­i­ga­tion plan.

Shawn Lums­den, res­i­dent of Le­high, has learned through a FOIP re­quest a pro­posal for flood mit­i­ga­tion in front of the prov­ince that in­cludes a berm that crosses through the com­mu­nity near East Coulee. He said the com­mu­nity is not sup­port­ive of such a plan.

“We do not want a berm down the middle of Le­high and our con­cerns and sug­ges­tions need to be lis­tened to be­fore a mit­i­ga­tion mea­sure can move for­ward,” he said in a let­ter emailed to res­i­dents as well as the town and me­dia.

He ex­plains that in Septem­ber of last year Le­high res­i­dents met with a con­sul­tant team. He felt the sur­vey was lim­ited in scope.

“Our com­mu­ni­ca­tions re­gard­ing mit­i­ga­tion ideas, ques­tions, con­cerns, sug­ges­tions, so­lu­tions and his­tory from peo­ple who had lived in our area through past high wa­ter events, was ig­nored and ob­vi­ously not even doc­u­mented,” he states.

He feels there could be a bet­ter so­lu­tion.

“The…berm would only de­stroy our com­mu­nity at the ex­pense of tax payer’s dol­lars when there are much bet­ter, more ef­fi­cient and much more cost ef­fec­tive flood mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures that have been sug­gested and are avail­able.”

Mayor Terry Ye­men re­sponded to Lums­den to clar­ify the sit­u­a­tion. He states that there is no ap­proved plan for mit­i­ga­tion of the area, nor has the Town of Drumheller de­vel­oped any plans.

“There is, how­ever, nine pri­or­i­ties for flood mit­i­ga­tion for the en­tire val­ley as de­vel­oped by Stan­tec En­gi­neer­ing which has been sub­mit­ted to the Prov­ince of Al­berta for their con­sid­er­a­tion for grant fund­ing. The Town’s un­der­stand­ing is that the Govern­ment of Al­berta is do­ing a cost study in re­gard to th­ese flood mit­i­ga­tion pri­or­i­ties or buy­outs. Once ap­proved by the Govern­ment of Al­berta, it is Stan­tec's in­tent to again meet with the res­i­dents that would be af­fected." states Ye­men’s let­ter.

Fur­ther, “The Town un­der­stands that res­i­dents’ lives have been put on hold and they have and will con­tinue to bring this to the at­ten­tion of the Govern­ment of Al­berta at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.”

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